By Scott Gaertner
Lifestyle Contributor

There was a time not so long ago when Scottsdale North was considered the middle of nowhere. Scottsdale Road was two lanes all the way, and there was very little shopping or anything else beyond cactus and coyotes.

In the early days selling Terravita, the two most common objections we heard from folks were, “It’s so far out!” and “There’s nothing out here!” And they were right! New homeowners at that time had to shop all over the valley for almost anything they wanted for their home. There weren’t many good restaurants, and everyday clothes shopping, office supplies, or even just getting a massage was something you had to plan ahead for because it was a day trip.

Luckily for us residents, some courageous entrepreneurs took the risk to head across the barren desert divide to bring their businesses, and today Scottsdale North has it all. Nearly everything you need is right in the community, and you have lots of internet choices as well. But when possible, I always prefer to give my money to my neighbors. And there are reasons other than just being a good neighbor to shop local.

Spending money with local retailers helps keep the local community alive. The places where we eat, shop, and have fun all have the potential to make a community feel like home. “One-of-a-kind” businesses are a fundamental part of the distinctive character of the community. A community where large chains of shops exceed the number of independently run small businesses, becomes less personal and homogenized, with less product diversity.

The benefits of a thriving local independent business sector are not limited to economic benefits. Possibly equally important is that independent businesses define the community’s self-image and creates a sense pride for the people who live there. National chain retailers, on the other hand, can homogenize a community and reduce its element of uniqueness and character. Many communities are choosing to take control of their own economic character by supporting unique one-of-a-kind local businesses. Shouldn’t Scottsdale North be one of those communities?

When dollars are spent locally they tend to stay local, paying salaries and increasing the tax base for projects like dog and pickleball parks! Studies have shown that for every $100 spent in locally owned businesses $73 stays local. The study found that for every $100 spent non-locally.\, only $43 stayed local. That adds up! One study in Maine showed that locally owned businesses contribute significantly more to local charities and fundraisers than do their national counterparts.
Finally, according to the American Independent Business Alliance, local businesses enjoy a higher customer satisfaction rating. It only makes sense. As we all know, bad news travels like wildfire these days. A small business just can’t stay afloat without positive reviews from its hometown clients.

Over the years I’ve formed many friendships from the local business owners that I use and refer. In almost every case, they show their appreciation by providing super service and competitive pricing… and there’s no trip charge!

Scott Gaertner is an Associate Broker with Keller Williams Northeast, who for the past 25+ years has helped more people to find their lifestyle niche in the Scottsdale North area than anyone else.